pizza–the sauce

I’ve written pizza posts before, but have always focused on the crust. Now I want to talk sauce.

Homemade pizza was on tonight’s menu and it was easy enough to find a crust recipe to try. King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook has an entire chapter devoted to pizza crusts as well as variations among them. Dough can be given a full rise, partial rise, or no rise. (Full rise gives the final crust the most flavor; no-rise means no wait.) Once rolled, the crusts can be prebaked (15-minute bake before topping), topped and given a 15- to 30-minute rise before baking (for the “lightest, crunchiest crust” according to King Arthur), or simply topped and baked immediately.

While I enjoy trying new crust recipes, I had only one go-to sauce recipe. And tonight I couldn’t find it. Its MIA status was inevitable as my only copy is a few scribbles on a small piece of paper. I don’t make pizza often enough to have the recipe memorized, so it was time to start over.

Finding a new pizza sauce recipe is as easy as a Google search, but I’m partial to my cookbooks so started there. The obvious choice, Alana’s Chernila’s Homemade Pantry, didn’t disappoint. Her basic pizza sauce called for only a few ingredients, most of what I had in my pantry. (Though my bottle of crushed red pepper flakes was empty so instead used a dash of seasoned pepper.) And though the recipe method was no-cook, I simmered my sauce to blend flavors and cook it down slightly. Alana may have used higher-salt canned tomatoes as I found her addition of 2 tablespoons sugar to be excessive; I toned down the sweet by adding upward of a half-teaspoon salt. When I make it again (and I will), I’d start with only 1 tablespoon sugar and add more to taste.

Not a fan of pepperoni, I sprinkled one wedge of the prebaked crust with mushrooms, onions, and basil and let my youngest (age 6) top the rest with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. The final “design” got a bit crazy, but it was one tasty pie.

My basil-, mushroom-, and onion-topped wedge stands alone.

crazy, but good

Homemade Pizza Sauce

adapted from Alana Chernila’s Homemade Pantry

  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or to taste
  • Healthy dash seasoned pepper

In saucepan, combine all ingredients. With stick blender, puree until blended and smooth. (Or puree ingredients in upright blender and transfer to saucepan.) Cook over medium-low heat 5 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

5 thoughts on “pizza–the sauce

    • Can you do a post with a funny food-person name? Chef Boyardee has to qualify. Just saw you’re a neuroscience student. Holy cow. Kudos to you!

      • Thanks for the idea! It’s hard to believe that in the 125+ posts we’ve done, we haven’t had a chef, but I think we’ll have to soon. Just off the top of my head, it seems like having a peculiar name is almost mandatory for becoming a famous chef: Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme…


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